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 Post subject: BITTEN BY CHIROPRACTIC
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Article from:
http://www.randi.org/jr/2006-01/010620monkey.html

BITTEN BY CHIROPRACTIC

A reader, formerly a chiropractor, and who wishes anonymity, writes:

I do not believe I will ever practice chiropractic again, because I see no ethical way to practice. Spinal manipulation has limited uses at best and some forms of manipulation can be dangerous, cervical manipulation, for example. The problem is that I now have over $150,000 worth of non-dischargeable student loans and it looks like my credit is ruined for the rest of my life.

I realize this is my own fault for taking out the loans. I was stupid and lacking in critical thinking skills at the time. But, just curious, what would you do if you were me? Would you try to hire an attorney and fight the school for fraud? Would you just move on and try to forget about it? Would you write a book to warn other potential students?

I often feel like I have ruined my life with this massive debt. I still have a lot of joy in my life: I have a great wife, a rewarding (non-chiropractic) job, and many wonderful friends. But I still feel like I was bamboozled by the chiropractic profession.

No rush to answer me, but I’m just curious about your thoughts on this subject. I cannot encourage you enough to continue warning potential students about the rampant quackery in the chiropractic profession. Many students take out massive loans when they are in their early 20s only to discover later that chiropractic is a fake, unethical profession. By then, it’s too late and they are in debt forever.


Yes, my friend, you were certainly bamboozled – as any victim of chiropractic is. As for writing a book warning others of your plight, I cannot see it becoming a popular read because it contains facts that the public just doesn’t want to know. Another problem here is that those who sign up for instruction in chiropractic, obtain diplomas, and start into practice, discover that the monetary rewards are so huge, that they can’t resist staying with the business, even if they recognize that they’re quacks.

You’re an exception; you care.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:19 pm 
Sir-

To start with, I agree with the evidence that Chiropractic does not cure disease etc. as is sometimes claimed. But it is and has shown to be effective in the relief of certain musculo-skeletal problems. I believe other modalities with joint-mobilizing techniques (osteopathy, zheng gu tui na) have similar success with those types of problems. But in a previous post you mentioned:

Quote:
Part of the lacking in my arguments lies with what I feel is too broad a generalization.
Perhaps we can have a dialogue on a specific treatment in order to narrow the scope?


By posting the anonymous missive, aren't you lumping "all" of Chiropractic into the "quack" bin, so to speak. It has shown to be effective in certain cases, as I'm sure people reading this board can attest to by purely subjective evidence. Perhaps your vitriol could be more directed at particular aspects of Chiropractic???

-wes tasker


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:55 pm 
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Anonymous wrote:

By posting the anonymous missive, aren't you lumping "all" of Chiropractic into the "quack" bin, so to speak. It has shown to be effective in certain cases, as I'm sure people reading this board can attest to by purely subjective evidence. Perhaps your vitriol could be more directed at particular aspects of Chiropractic???

-wes tasker


Meta: You're right.
I should be more specific.
ALL Chiropractics is absolute, unvarnished quackery.
In my opinion, any person(s) who claims to practice "Chiropractics" as a valid and legitimate medical treatment for ANYTHING save the placebo effect and perhaps some minor muscle relaxation is a fraud, a cheat, a liar, and a menace to public health and the advancement of reality-based sciences.

That being said, allow me (as I have already done in the past) to shed light on the quite bogus and well-proven quack method of Chiropractics:

Chiropractic, also known as chiropractic care, is a health care discipline with an underlying principle that health problems can be prevented and treated using spinal adjustments in order to correct spinal dysfunction, or subluxations. Chiropractic maintains that the brain and nervous system control and coordinate all the body's functions in part through nerve branches that exit from the spinal cord between the vertebrae. Some chiropractors infer a causal relationship between nerve interference or compression at the spine and subsequent problems in more distant parts or organ systems regulated by the nerve.

There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the claims that the practice makes, but there is evidence to support not only the opposite, but the fact that the creator of Chiropractics was also an obvious fraud and quack:

http://skeptically.org/quackery/id11.html


Not only that, but there are many a Chiropractor who associate themselves with other equally bogus and quack methods such as Homeopathy, reflexology, Chinese herbal medicines, iridology and applied kinethesiology, and oh yes, dubious methods such as "zheng gu tui na".

Why?
The money gained from an ignorant public is just too good to pass up.

There are also safety concerns;

Critics cite major medical risks associated with spinal manipulation in their opposition to the practice of chiropractic. These risks include vertebrobasilar accidents, disc herniations, vertebral fracture, and cauda equina syndrome, according to Harrison's. Most serious complications occur after cervical (neck) manipulation. The practice of greatest concern is the rotary neck movement, sometimes called "Master cervical" or "rotary break", which has led to trauma, paralysis, strokes, and death among patients.

Additionally, there are safety concerns as well:
Many chiropractors report that these serious complications due to manipulation of the cervical spine remain rare, having been documented at 1 in 3 or 4 million manipulations or fewer. Such estimates are believed to be highly unreliable based on the possibility of vast (up to 100%) underreporting of problems. While still rare, the true incidence could be much higher, and further research may shed more light on this situation.

Lastly, as I mentioned before, S.M.T. (which is the bulk of what Chiropractors are performing when they are not spouting nonsense, has shown to be only of limited effect and proven to be no more effective that massage therapy.

By the way,
If you can prove that the methods and tenets of Chiropractics are a valid medicine as well as zheng gu tui na et al,
Then you can collect a million bucks as a prize.

Just go here, fill out the form, take the test, and retire in style!

http://www.randi.org/research/index.html

I eagerly await your rebuttal sir.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:15 pm 
Obviously you are quite passionate about this subject. As I stated in my previous post, I don't really agree with most of what chiropractic says regarding the treatment of disease etc. I have no desire to "prove" it as a valid medicine - mainly because I don't view it as much. It's obvious that, based on your reply, you do indeed find all chiropractic practitioners to be of the same ilk. And you could have just answered my post with the fact that your vitriol is directed at all of Chiropractic:

Quote:
save the placebo effect and perhaps some minor muscle relaxation


Although I'm interested as to why you view "Chinese Herbs" and "Tui Na" as dubious practices? And what would make them cease to be such? Are you familiar with these pracitices beyond a google search?

-wes tasker


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:05 pm 
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wes tasker wrote:

Although I'm interested as to why you view "Chinese Herbs" and "Tui Na" as dubious practices? And what would make them cease to be such? Are you familiar with these practices beyond a google search?

-wes tasker


I've studied and practiced Qigong, Tai-Chi, and other "Chi" methods (as they pertain to medicine, the martial arts, and philosophy) meridians, reflexology, pressure points, acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese herbs, etc, long before there was such a thing as the internet or Google.
I am as one might say, a Meta-physics Heretic.

In order for such practices to cease being dubious they would have to:
1. Clearly state to patients that they are unproven to work, are unscientific, are no better than placebo, and are in no way to be construed as a substitute for anything resembling legitimate medical practices, and should not be used to treat any illness, condition, or disease. (It would not be necessary, but a disclaimer about being used for entertainment purposes only would be great as well.)

With respect to these subjects, I have studied them with an earnest and open mind, and really really really wanted to find truth in them. But alas, on many of these subjects I have unfortunately seen that they are falsehoods, myths, and wishful thinking. Even worse, I find that with many of these subjects, often a "cult-like" and narrowly minded atmosphere within practicing members exists. It is for many, more than a practice, but a religion.
So it is with Chiropractics.

With respect to Chinese herbs, my personal opinion is that the vast percentage of it is ineffective, but since even Western drug medicine is derived from also plants, there always is the random chance that there is a Chinese herb good for minor ailments.
But cure cancer? Major disease?
No.

Now I have spoken my opinion,
I'd like to hear yours!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:31 pm 
My opinion, regarding Tui Na and solely the Chinese Herbs used within Tui Na, is that it works for what the stated effects are. Which, in my case, is helping with musculo-skeletal injuries. I am a practitioner/student of both Tui Na and Western Massage Therapy. I practice both as they relate solely to musculo-skeletal injuries and/or muscular tension etc. etc. I have seen them work 100's of times, and have seen my teachers use them to help people even more.

I find it interesting that you say you have studied a myriad of these "practices" and yet found them lacking and then labeled yourself a "Metaphysics-Heretic". How deeply did you study these things? And how important is it that you label yourself a heretic? There seems to be a trend with people on these, and similar boards, who really liked labeling themselves "heretics" and rallying every chance they got against the perceived evils that assailed them... I just find it interesting how people feel it is important to label themselves thusly.

As far as Chinese Herbs go, there is a book titled:

"Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica"
compiled and tranlated by: Dan Bensky & Andrew Gamble
ISBN: 0939616033

In the write-up after a good % of the herbs the authors have a heading "Pharmacological and clinical research" which details the findings of experiments with the herbs and/or their active ingredient(s).

It's an interesting impasse. The very thing you require to believe these things is the very thing I'm the least interested in. To narrow the field to just Tui Na. I've seen it work, I've felt it work, and it makes sense to me. I generally think of myself as not very narrow-minded and I can be very skeptical of things - and it's definitely not a religion to me. Whatever that's worth.....

-wes tasker


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:11 am 
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wes tasker wrote:
My opinion, regarding Tui Na and solely the Chinese Herbs used within Tui Na, is that it works for what the stated effects are. Which, in my case, is helping with musculo-skeletal injuries. I am a practitioner/student of both Tui Na and Western Massage Therapy. I practice both as they relate solely to musculo-skeletal injuries and/or muscular tension etc. etc.


Really?
How does it work?
I would be interested in reading about the actual physical process by which a patient receives benefit.
Would you mind breaking the process down for me?

wes tasker wrote:
I find it interesting that you say you have studied a myriad of these "practices" and yet found them lacking and then labeled yourself a "Metaphysics-Heretic". How deeply did you study these things?


Meta: I studied them for about 3 years, which is long enough to see that *none* of them had any claim to perform the various actions which proponents touted.
-I hope you're not going to tell me that I need to plant myself "deeply" into the arts, commit myself fully for 20 years and go live with a guru up in the mountains of China somewhere in order to "grasp" the true meaning of the Chinese medicinal arts?"

wes tasker wrote:
And how important is it that you label yourself a heretic?


Meta: Not important at all. Just wanted you to understand that I've been on the other side of the fence for at least a long scan, and found that it was not what it claims to be.

wes tasker wrote:
There seems to be a trend with people on these, and similar boards, who really liked labeling themselves "heretics" and rallying every chance they got against the perceived evils that assailed them...


Meta: Interesting. I was not aware of that, if it is indeed an accurate statement. In my case, my motivation is not to revenge against "perceived evil" (BTW, it IS evil to defraud the public and disseminate bogus information.) but rather I liken my posts in this area to sort of a "public service" whereby I advise the public who may or may not already be informed on certain fake medical practices. What is being assailed is the public trust, public health, science, and common sense.
So I suppose we can add, "Goody-two-shoes and Meddler-detractor of fraudulent practices in general" to my list of monikers.

wes tasker wrote:
I just find it interesting how people feel it is important to label themselves thusly.


Meta: Sounds like a bit of Lao Tzu.
"Would a rock be a rock if we called it a rock?
One may call me what one wills.
I use labels to make a point, but in reality they are meaningless to me.
(Unless I can use them to expose a fraud)

wes tasker wrote:
It's an interesting impasse. The very thing you require to believe these things is the very thing I'm the least interested in. To narrow the field to just Tui Na. I've seen it work, I've felt it work, and it makes sense to me.
-wes tasker


Meta: What makes sense?
Which part?
Who, what, when, where?
Details please?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:00 am 
First, I would never tell someone with the vast experience you have that you would need to sit at the feet of some guru in China for 20 years to get what I'm saying. I haven't done that, and you obviously have learned all you need to know about these things......

The Tui Na system I study and practice basically uses massage techniques, joint mobilizations, internal and external herbs (in the form of pills, liniments, poultices, and plasters), and auxillary tools like cupping and moxa to address various injuries in various stages. The massage part is used to re-align joints (now don't get all uber-chiropractic is evil messiah about this..... Tui Na does not posit that all the bodies ills are caused by a misaligned Talus or vertabrae. What it does say is that mis-alignments in joints can effect their function. My teacher has said in his book that these misalignments are not even detectable by X-Ray. It's basically a case of i.e. - a person's ankle never seems to get 100% strength back after a bad sprain, it gets "adjusted" (Zheng Gu in Chinese) and it gets better......)

The herbs tend to be a combination of vaso-dilators, muscle relaxers, pain killers, with other ingredients depending on the situation. Some ingredients tend to effect the Tendons, some tighten sinews. There are various liniments, soaks, and plasters for differing injuries at differing stages - along with specific massage (Tui Na) protocols. The Tui Na itself helps to relax the muscles / sinews and speed up the healing process in conjunction with the herbs.

I mentioned how the herbs work, at least to their base ingredients. The massage techniques tend to cause a relaxation response in the muscles through various combinations of rhythm, speed, and pressure. And realignment of the joints just brings them back to their normal working structure.

I'm not really sure what more you are looking for. It's interesting to translate this stuff into a Western paradigm as far as "how" it works. I never really gave it much thought as it works fine for me in the paradigm it was presented to me, and the paradigm I present it to my clients in. Of course, you'll forgive me if I leave out the "for entertainment value only....." - I know the limits of my sense of humor.

-wes tasker


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:09 am 
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wes tasker wrote:
The Tui Na system I study and practice basically uses massage techniques, joint mobilizations, internal and external herbs (in the form of pills, liniments, poultices, and plasters), and auxiliary tools like cupping and moxa to address various injuries in various stages. The massage part is used to re-align joints.


Meta: I thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully.

I wonder if you would be so kind as to enlighten me on the detailed specifics of how the following therapies work, from a technical standpoint:

1. The massage techniques of Tui Na.
2. Joint mobilizations
3. Cupping
4. The poultices, and plasters.
5. Moxa
6. Re-aligning joints
7. What would be the basic arsenal of pills and herbs given to patients with "usual" problems?



wes tasker wrote:
The herbs tend to be a combination of vaso-dilators,


Meta: I am curious to learn which herb you are using to perform the function of a Vasodilator, and why?

wes tasker wrote:
Some ingredients tend to affect the Tendons, some tighten sinews.


Meta: May I ask which ones?
Are they regulated by the FDA?

wes tasker wrote:
There are various liniments, soaks, and plasters for differing injuries at differing stages - along with specific massage (Tui Na) protocols.


Meta: What specifically are the Tui Na protocols?

wes tasker wrote:
The Tui Na itself helps to relax the muscles / sinews and speed up the healing process in conjunction with the herbs.


Meta: Exactly how does the process speed up the healing process? From a technical perspective?

wes tasker wrote:
I mentioned how the herbs work, at least to their base ingredients.


Meta: I apologize but I must have missed that.
Where did you explain how herbs work again?

wes tasker wrote:
The massage techniques tend to cause a relaxation response in the muscles through various combinations of rhythm, speed, and pressure.


Meta: Why do you suppose that is?, Technically.

was tasker wrote:
And realignment of the joints just brings them back to their normal working structure.


Meta: You've lost me here. Do you work with patients who have the common Western malady known as a dislocated joint?

wes tasker wrote:
I'm not really sure what more you are looking for.


Meta: I'm looking for specific details on how your medicine works. For example, in Western medicine, if a joint is dislocated, such as a shoulder joint, a Medical Doctor would usually attempt reset the bones in proper alignment, and to help ease pain, he/she may try gently maneuvering the shoulder through the process of reduction.

If the patient's shoulder won't go back into place, surgery may be necessary. The doctor may also put the shoulder in a sling to prevent re-injury.

Reduction could be by Closed or Open methods. Open reduction of course refers to the method wherein the fracture fragments are exposed surgically by dissecting the tissues. Closed reduction refers to manipulation of the bone fragments without surgical exposure of the fragments.

Once the fragments are reduced, the reduction is maintained by application of casts, traction or held by implants which may in turn be external or internal.

How would the Tui Na system handle such an injury?

wes tasker wrote:
It's interesting to translate this stuff into a Western paradigm as far as "how" it works.


Meta: The paradigm is simple. Either you can explain how it works, and thereby scientifically understand why it works or you cannot, in which case, it's not medicine at all.

wes tasker wrote:
I never really gave it much thought as it works fine for me in the paradigm it was presented to me.


Meta: Isn't this akin to saying: "I don't know why the sun rises every morning, but it just does, so therefore it's irrelevant on why it rises, just that it is so?
Isn’t it rather irresponsible as a person providing a service, and a healing service at that, to not understand fully the technical aspects and implications of the service provided?
Isn't this an article of faith?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:10 pm 
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For what it's worth there's a wonderful point on the back that is an instant and effective cure for hiccups (Stomach Qi rebelling). Urinary Bladder 17 - the diaphram shu point.

Works like a charm every single time I've used it - men, women, and children.

And it is important not to ignore fact that many modern pharmaceuticals found their base elements because the pharmas had the money, time, and research capital to go and distill various local remedies.

Pharmas today have field teams that go and visits various parts of the world to find traditional practices using herbology and then try and find out single ingredient could be used to treat a single symptom.

Research and future trends in the pharmaceutical development of medicinal herbs from Chinese medicine
Effects of four Chinese herbal extracts on drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant small-cell lung carcinoma cells

However - here's the kicker - in the western model of science you can only measure one variable at a time. So to get a drug or a practice past the FDA it needs to be shown to consistently do that same thing for every single person.

However many of the traditional remedies attempt to modify more than one variable at a time - and are slightly adjusted based on several variables the practitioner identifies in their client.

So now you have two (or more) sets of shifting variables - completely ungraspable to the western mind and unmeasurable to western science.

And yet - many traditional remedies work for many reasons. How long was aspirin used before we figured out why it works? I have friends who work at the FDA who have both told me separately on different occasions (without my asking) that uncoated aspirin would never make it through a clinical trial today. Too usafe. Too many side effects. To many risks for interactions with other drugs and other conditions. So why is it not then off the market? Because it works - yes it has risks - but it still works.

I'd just caution not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Western pharmacology still has quite a bit to learn from traditional remedies. You stop their practice or try and keep those practices from thriving - and those unbroken threads of human knowledge developed through hundreds of years of experience will be lost forever.

-Dana

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:46 pm 
Quote:
Meta: Isn't this akin to saying: "I don't know why the sun rises every morning, but it just does, so therefore it's irrelevant on why it rises, just that it is so?
Isn’t it rather irresponsible as a person providing a service, and a healing service at that, to not understand fully the technical aspects and implications of the service provided?
Isn't this an article of faith?


Not faith, just a different paradigm of why things work. Your premise above is based on the assumption that the Western scientific model of explaining things is the only "valid" and "true" way of explaining things. The implication of your statement is that the Chinese TCM / Tui Na model is invalid - which I don't believe it is. It's not a matter of the sun rises so who cares how, and it's not a matter of some outlandish explanation like the sun is pulled by Apollo's chariot. There is an internal consistency and logic to the TCM / Tui Na paradigm that bears results. The results I see are not part of some "Western scientific study" so I'm sure it's not good enough for what you are looking for.

Quote:
Meta: I am curious to learn which herb you are using to perform the function of a Vasodilator, and why?


Some of the common herbs used in Tui Na for injuries are:

Frankincense, Myrrha, Safflower, and Red Peony. In experiments referenced in the book "An Encyclopedia of Traditional Chinese Medicinal Substances (Zhong Yao Da Ci Dian) ed: Jiangsu College of New Medicine, these herbs were shown to have effects of vasodilation and muscle relaxation. One of the problems with an injury (say a sprained ankle) is that because of swelling and muscular splinting the blood doesn't process through the area as fast and can slow down the natural healing process. By using herbs such as the aformentioned, massage to relax the musculature, etc. one helps the bodies natural process by increasing the flow of blood through the area. And no they are not regulated by the FDA.

No I don't work with dislocations. Let's take that sprained ankle as an example. Say someone just sprains their ankle and it's swelling pretty bad. In Tui Na I would first massage "above" and "below" the injury itself. So I would work on the calf (gastroc and soleus), the ant. tibialis, the peronneals. One of the ways that a muscle relaxes due to massage is if you hyper-stimulate it (esp. at the attatchments) it will just suddenly relax. I don't really know the mechanism, I believe it might have to do with golgi tendon stretch reflex - but I'm not sure. I don't really know if there's been any "western" studies on it. But in your book, does this mean that even though it's a demonstrable phenomena it needs a study to see why?

So back to the example.... These muscles all cross the ankle and by relaxing them, the blood etc. flows better. Then a liniment or poultice is used to reduce swelling. Sometimes if the swelling is really bad, the ankle is pricked with a lancet where the swelling is greatest and then cupped (a glass cup with a vacuum created in it) to help drain the stagnant fluid. Then the client is given movement exercises as soon as they are able. Later, sometimes with really bad sprains, the talus won't sit right due to the stretching of ligaments and tendons and will cause further problems in the ankle. Then the ankle needs to be set. I realize this will raise your "subluxation" hackles, but what if it came about through deductive reasoning? For example, lets say someone noticed that bad sprains tended to leave the ankle weak, they assumed that one of the bones might be out of place. They then figure out a way to give a certain slack into the joint so that the bones may then set correctly, and the weakness and/or residual pain goes away.

It's interesting to type this knowing that none of this is what you are looking for. To sum up, I believe you are looking for a Western explanation of the mechanisms that are used in Tui Na. And if one can't provide them, then it's all just bunk. One final question for you is to what role do you give experiential evidence?

-wes tasker


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:42 am 
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Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.
-Lao Tzu

At this time, I grow weary of the subject of trying to convince you not to waste your time with it, for truthfully; no man can tell another what is right for him, so it is only to my own detriment to do so.

Suffice to say, it took me many years and experiences to come to the place where I currently reside with respect to
Arriving at the knowledge that I have on the subject.
Each person must arrive on that path wholly themselves.

My Sensei once said;

"I cannot show you the way, as I am walking the path myself. I can only hold a candle to aid in showing you where I have been."

Good luck to you on that path.
I sincerely hope that you find what you are seeking.

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 Post subject: Many of us readers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:55 am 
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are not as knowledgeable about this subject as Meta and Wes. I do thank the two of you for presenting two sides of this discussion is such a gentlemanly manner.

I can only offer personal experiences, which really only affect my understanding and beliefs pertaining to the subject.

My wife Susan: Suffered through nearly three years of various symptoms.... weakness, tiredness, stomach problems, unable to eat and generally just feeling sick. She spent a lot of time in bed and went to a lot of doctors who performed many tests. None were able to do anything for her. All thought is was some kind of "bug" that would pass. All prescribed different drugs that did nothing.

A friend suggested seeing a Chiropractor, which she did. After a neck adjustment (fourth visit) the symptoms completely disappeared. She remembers it happening in such a manner as to be immediately noticeable and completely attributed to the adjustment.

She also remembers the pain and suffering beginning slowly and steadily following a fall on ice, where she landed real hard on her hip. The medical doctors were told this but discounted any possible relationship to the condition she was suffering from.

Now, I believe in the placebo affect and perhaps that is what caused this amazing and immediate cure. And, if by some logical reason, she allowed herself to be cured by a "quack" and his manual manipulation, why didn't her previous years of treatment by medical doctors trigger the same placebo "mind-cure"?

Finally - Would those who feel she was "conned" with a placebo cure, argue that she was better off remaining sick and being treated unsuccessfully by medical doctors, than being treated by a "con artist" who gets results?

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 Post subject: Part 2
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:58 pm 
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Followup from last week's post,
again from
http://www.randi.org/jr/2006-01/012006bigfoot.html#i3

MORE CHIRO MATTERS

Reader “Brian” in Northern California:

The letter from the ex-chiropractor inspired me to drag a flier (that was inserted in the local newspaper) out of the recycling bin so I could copy a few lines to send to you. It starts with the usual life story of chiropractor telling how he decided to go to chiropractic school instead of medical school after his asthmatic brother was helped by a chiropractor when the doctors couldn't help him, then how he keeps his own family healthy with chiropractic adjustments. etc. etc., then:

{ ...It's strange how life is because now people come to see me with their headaches, migraines, neck pain, shoulder/arm pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, athletic injuries, whiplash and numbness in the limbs. Their children see me for ear infections, asthma, allergies, anxiety – even ADD & dyslexia – just to name a few.}

Notice that he states "people come to see me with their..." and he never claims that he can actually help with any of the ailments listed, just says that people come to him with these problems. After a few testimonial quotes, he laments:

Being a chiropractor can be tough because there's a host of so-called experts out there. They tell people a lot of things that are just plain ridiculous about my profession...usually it's "My neighbor's sister's friend said..." Let me ask you, do you make your health care decisions based on honest facts or biased opinions? Interesting question, isn't it? [ellipses in the original text]

Well, at least I agree with him about making "decisions based on honest facts" rather than "biased opinions."

Thank you, Brian. We have here a note from last week’s anonymous ex-chiropractor who was involved, and I think it will be encouraging to others and give a new source of assistance. He writes:

Thanks for forwarding me the nice emails from your readers. While it will probably be a while before I "come out of the chiropractic closet" and use my real name, I do currently participate in an email discussion list called Chirotalk. The address is: http://chirotalk.proboards3.com/index.cgi

The members of this list are mostly former chiropractors along with a few Physical Therapists who are chiro skeptics. The purpose of the list is to support chiropractors trying to get out of the profession (suggestions for new careers, encouragement, etc.) and to keep information on the web to discourage new students from enrolling in chiropractic college.

I have gotten a lot of ideas from this list as to how to move forward with my life. The main reason I wrote you is that I respect your opinion a lot and, also, I wanted to bring attention to the fact that there are students like me who have been ripped off by the chiropractic schools.

I agree that I have a moral obligation to help potential students see the full picture. Chiro college recruiters are very good at painting chiropractors as mainstream healthcare professionals based in science. This is fraud – as far as I'm concerned – since all chiropractic is still based on subluxation theory, although some modern chiros call subluxations different names, like fixations, spinal lesions, etc.

Allen Botnick, D.C., is the chiropractor who started the discussion list. He is also graduated from my college and has written, under his real name, about his experiences as a chiropractor. He has really endured a lot of hatred from the chiropractic profession for his honesty. It’s at: www.chirobase.org/03Edu/botnick.html

Anyway, thanks for spreading the word. While I certainly wouldn't accept donations from anybody, I am inspired to consider telling my story in a more public way in the future. The kind messages from your readers have shown me that skeptics really have big hearts.

Very true, sir, and as you read this I’m surrounded by almost 800 of them, in Las Vegas, at The Amaz!ng Meeting 4. And that’s why this week’s SWIFT is a little brief, since all the JREF staff and co-workers are gathered to learn more about reality and how it’s challenged. I hope I’ll be forgiven for leaving this scene now; it’s Monday, and I have to send this off to our tireless webmaster Jeff Wagg, so he can get it up on the page in time…

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There's a bit of Metablade in all of us.


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